Great Duck Hunting Dogs


Are Worth Their Weight in Gold

Waterfowl hunting, also referred to as goose hunting and duck hunting, is an outdoor sporting activity enjoyed by people all over the world. Many hunters use duck hunting dogs to retrieve their downed ducks. (“Lake Ontario Duck Hunting Information | duck hunting Guide”) Duck hunting dogs not only retrieve dead ducks from freezing water and difficult terrain, where a hunter could possibly be injured but duck hunting dogs also search for and recover wounded ducks.

These wounded ducks could escape or die a slow, painful death. “Because of their keen sense of smell, well-trained duck hunting dogs usually have no problem finding and retrieving ducks shot by the hunter.” (“Lake Ontario Duck Hunting Information | duck hunting Guide”)

Small game hunters using shotguns normally have gun dogs or duck hunting dogs, which primarily hunt waterfowl and small game. The three classes of gun dogs are pointing breeds, flushing spaniels, and retrievers, which are all good duck hunting dogs.

They train pointers to locate their prey and stand motionless, pointing at the bird or small game. These duck hunting dogs point or freeze to keep from flushing the game until the hunter gets into position. Most pointing dogs will retrieve downed birds. Pointers are loyal, affectionate dogs that make wonderful pets and love to hunt. English pointers, German shorthair pointers, Irish setters, English setters, and German wirehaired pointers are great duck hunting dogs. (“Lake Ontario Duck Hunting Information | duck hunting Guide”)

Flushing spaniels or flushing dogs are duck hunting dogs that hunters have used for several hundred years. Hunters train them to stay close, usually within thirty-five or forty yards. Flushing spaniels work close, so the hunter gets great shots at the fast flying ducks the dog flushes out. English Springer spaniels are great flushing duck hunting dogs and make a great housedog. These dogs are loyal, compassionate, and extremely intelligent, with natural hunting abilities. English springer spaniel flushing duck hunting dogs work hard, are good tempered and love hunting. (“Lake Ontario Duck Hunting Information | duck hunting Guide”)

Retrievers are duck hunting dogs that recover the ducks or other waterfowl without damage to the game, because of their soft mouths. They are quick to learn, easy to train, enjoy hunting, and love to please. A well-trained retriever can mark, follow hand signals, retrieve to hand, and knows many more commands. The hunter commands his or her retriever to mark and the dog looks up for a falling bird. There are times when it is necessary for a retriever to follow hand signals. Hunters must be able to direct their dogs remotely, in some situations, so hand signals are extremely important. The retrieve to hand command is where a retriever puts the waterfowl directly into the hunter’s hand. Great duck hunting dogs are worth their weight in gold to a hunter. (“Great Duck Hunting Dogs are Worth Their Weight in Gold”)

Different Breeds of Bird Dog

“Many duck hunters consider their bird dog an essential part of their hunt.” (“Bird Dog Breeds – 3 Most Popular Breeds And Their …”) Because of their loyalty and passion for the hunt, these dogs jump into icy water, or retrieve over rough terrain to get the bird their master has killed. A good bird dog is worth his weight in gold to the serious bird hunter. If not for the dog, hunters would lose many a downed bird. A well-trained bird dog adds an entirely new dimension to the hunt. (“Bird Dog Breeds – 3 Most Popular Breeds And Their …”)

There are three types of bird dog, all with a slightly different angle for hunting: the pointing breeds, the flushing breeds, and the retrievers. Pointers are very disciplined and able to locate and freeze when they find prey. They stand motionless, allowing the hunter to get into position and then they flush the bird. Pointers are also able to retrieve downed birds. They are loyal, affectionate, and make a great family pet. English pointers, German shorthair pointers, Irish setters, and German wirehaired pointers are all examples within this category. (“Bird Dog Breeds – 3 Most Popular Breeds And Their …”)

Flushing dogs consist of the spaniel breeds; the English springer spaniel is the best known in this category. These dogs have been used for hundreds of years and have been trained to stay close to the hunter, within 30-40 yards. The English springer makes a great housedog; he is intelligent, loyal, compassionate, with natural hunting abilities. (“Bird Dog Breeds – 3 Most Popular Breeds And Their …”)

There are many diverse types of retrievers, the Labrador retriever being the most widely known. They excel at retrieving game because of their soft mouths. They have also become one of the most popular family pets because of their sweet temperament, trainability, and their eagerness to please. The retriever also stands out because of its ability to learn hand signals; a hunter motions for the dog to look up, and the dog can follow the bird’s fall and know where to go to retrieve it. They are also extremely good at “retrieving to hand”, meaning they put the bird directly into the hunter’s hands upon retrieval. (“Bird Dog Breeds – 3 Most Popular Breeds And Their …”)

When choosing a bird dog, a hunter’s choice will lean heavily upon his own preference. While a dog should be eager to please and have a love for the hunt, the most important thing a hunter must have with the dog is a rapport. Oftentimes a hunter is simply just drawn to a certain dog, and if the dog exhibits all the other basic traits, which is the right dog for him. (“Bird Dog Breeds – 3 Most Popular Breeds And Their …”)

Best Wishes, Coy

See Tomorrow: “The New Duck Hunting Gear Available Makes Hunting More Comfortable and Enjoyable”

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